Marrakech is an ideal city to live out all your Arabian Night fantasies so it was inevitable that it would become my city, I always preferred Jasmine to Cinderella.
That even holds true when you are traveling alone or in my case, with my father. All you need is a room at La Sultana and Rock the Kasbah on your play list.
When I visited for the first time a couple of years back things didn’t go so well. After being led to a room fit for a queen, I almost caused a flood when I tried to take a bubble bath in my jacuzzi. Jacuzzis are not meant for bubble baths because well, too many bubbles, but that is not something I mere more mortal would know.
I also wore my slippers throughout the entire stay. I didn’t realize that while they were real leather slippers, I was still allowed to take them home. As I didn’t know that, I just wanted to make sure I showed them a good time while we shared a room and so I used them to slide over the marble floors and wore them to bed, something a princess surely would have been scolded for.
Eventually, I went to reception to inquire where I could buy a pair. In order to show the concierge which shoes I was talking about (I was unsuccessfully practicing my French), I lifted my leg avec slipper like a cancan girl over the counter. He tried his hardest to keep a straight face and told me I could keep them.
I was in heaven and wore them until they fell apart.
Now I return just in time for a new pair. And of course to redeem myself with somewhat more princess-like behavior, especially now that I am with my father.
La Sultana is hidden in the kasbah of Marrakech, an area where I have an easier time to get lost than in the middle of the souks. Thanks to google maps though and the dire need to proof to my dad that I am not getting us lost again and that it is, in fact, all part of the experience, the kasbah and I get along a lot better this time.
From one of the main roads, the La Sultana is once again hidden in a little alleyway only announced by a discreet sign.
Inside an unfortunate security door which messes up an otherwise grand first impression of golden splendor, but a necessity.
After a welcome of dates and almond milk, we are led to our room, the zebra room. While the room is grand I can’t help but stare at the giraffe room next door. I am a bit envious, because, you know… giraffes <3. My dad, on the other hand, declares that this is a room finally befitting his rank and even keeps a straight face while uttering these words. According to his ‘rank’ he chooses his side of the bed and put on his new leather slippers. Luckily there is a pair for each of us.
This is also the time when I tell him, befitting his rank or not, what it means to be an #Instagramdaddy (if you don’t know what this is, check out this post here). It entails that he can choose his side of the bed but not sit on it yet or anywhere else for that matter. With that, he retreats to the toilet not without checking if I I intend to shoot pictures in there too. He is a fast learner and as I have never taken a picture of a toilet before in my life he can go.
After business is taken care of, we leave our new slippers and set off to explore the city. Just outside the massive golden door regular life awaits. A lone guy sits in the corner rearranging bundles of sage, another on the road side neatly piling chocolate bars to make them more appealing to potential customers. Smoke is drifting from the brochette grill and is competing with TripAdvisor banners to attract the hungry. The first works better for cats and locals, the latter for tourists who walk around looking dazed and confused. There are screaming children, kamikaze motorcycles, veiled women and giggling teenage girls. A regular day in the kasbah of Marrakech.
We take the big road to the Jemaa El Fna which operates as one giant taxi stand. Dad waves off all offers with his cane and we march on even as the rain starts. After all, mint tea and dinner need to be well deserved.
We arrive at Nomad properly drenched and feast on the first of many tagines and plates of fluffy couscous. My dad, though, has a hard time to adhere to the no-alcohol rules of most restaurants in the medina and the closer we get to a decent cocktail hour, the antsier he gets – after all, there is wine at the hotel.
On the way back, he is glad that I don’t agree to prove my newfound navigation skills and agree on a tuk-tuk. Mind you, as soon as the driver speeds off, he starts to regret his bravery – if the traffic in Marrakech isn’t bad enough on its own, our driver seems to have some wine waiting for himself too.
Mind you, he is polite enough and when we arrive he brings a small stool and helps dad to get out of the tuk-tuk. The smoke is still drifting from the grill next door and I am tempted to have ‘dessert’. Alas, my dad insists that it is now way past wine o’clock time and we disappear behind our golden door.
In our room, he gets his wine and I get a bath. There is no jacuzzi in the zebra bathroom but a tub big enough that it makes me feel a bit lost and very bad about the amount of water it takes to fill up half way. I am cold though and as the pool is not heated, I play mermaid in the bathtub for a bit before falling crawling on my assigned side of the bed. I sleep deeply despite a snoring father and the big kasbah mosque calling to prayer.
The next morning we sample the breakfast spoils with an assortment of Moroccan breads with argan and olive oil, Berber omelet, and a liter of freshly squeezed orange juice. Then we are off to explore as one of the city’s cultural highlights, the Sadian Tombs, are literally right next to the La Sultana.
The tombs are surrounded by high walls with stork nests and set amongst orange trees and the first roses. I take my first and second cat picture of the trip, which makes this day slightly better because we are both sporting sad face upon return to the hotel.
It is check-out time. Except for my dad complaining why I didn’t book us for some more nights we pack in silence, the slippers get an honorary place in each of our suitcases.
This time I don’t do the cancan at reception, I know I can take the slippers and hope that once again, I can return when it is time for a new pair. After all, I know I can behave like a princess by now.
Disclaimer: Thank you, La Sultana for hosting us and for our beautiful slippers!